By SHERIDAN CYR
The new Southington Public Library and Barnes Museum executive director, Kristi Sadowski, hit the ground running on her first official day, Monday, July 16. She has already begun implementing some of her visions and goals that helped her get hired for the job in the first place.
“I am very excited to be here in Southington and to start to peek behind the scenes at what makes this library run,” said Sadowski. “I want to learn what is specific to this library and figure out what we can do to strengthen it.”
Sadowski hails from the Booth & Dimock Memorial Library in Coventry. Just before she left her former position as executive director, the Coventry library received a “business of the year” award from the Windham Chamber of Commerce.
She spent eight years at the Coventry library. Before that, she was a student working towards a bachelor’s degree in history at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and later, Southern Connecticut State University.
“I think this will be an exciting challenge for me,” said the new director. She has researched the services offered by Southington’s library, and she said that she is excited to get involved in the many current offerings, as well as introduce some new ones.
“I’m thrilled that on my first day,” she said. “I’ve already seen so many people milling around, working quietly, picking out books and all. It’s so wonderful to see the community using the library so actively.”
Some of the projects Sadowski envisions in the near future include roof repairs at the Barnes Museum, expanding on the library’s programs and offerings, ADA requirements and regular accessibility, website design, and expansion of the library’s current building. The expansion project has been in discussions for several years now, and Sadowski hopes to be the push that gets the ball finally rolling.
“I’ve already been heavily involved in a building project for expanding a library,” she said. “I’ve gone through and gotten a grant from the Connecticut State Library. I’ve done concept designs and outreach to different community organizations trying to explain the need for and benefit of an expansion, and I’ve worked with building committees and architects to revive plans and internal goals for what the community was expressing for needs.”
Sadowski said that she has a clear view of what role she feels a library should play in its community. She said it should be a focal point, and a cultural institution. She wants to figure out what she and the staff can do to improve lives and offer excellent resources to locals.
“I think a library exists to serve the needs of its community, while having a cultural impact,” she said. “It should be a place to connect to others and learn with, and from, each other.”
Even though she is just settling in, Sadowski said she is “enthused to be in this position, and to be able to help facilitate the future of this library.”
In her spare time, Sadowski likes to work on various craft projects, and spends plenty of time curled up with a book. She also tends to her pets: one dog and four cats.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.